The Great Pretender Book: Introduction Teaser by Rhys Thomas
Below is teaser from the new Freddie book 'The Great Pretender: A Life In Pictures'. It is an edited snippet from the Introduction by documentary maker and Queen fan Rhys Thomas. The full introduction by Rhys can be read in the new Carlton book that is released on September 3rd- available now for pre-order here at Amazon.
The Great Pretender: A Life In Pictures
It’s 8 pm and I am sitting in an edit suite in Soho, London, watching the uncut rushes of Freddie Mercury’s infamous birthday party in Munich, 1985. I am lucky enough to be directing a new documentary about my hero.
The film is so clear that I feel that I’m at the party myself. I can taste the champagne, hear the music and smell the PVC. Beneath the disco balls and ultraviolet lighting, amongst the fun, the leather, bare buttocks, moustaches, strippers and Brian May dressed as a witch – is Freddie. It is hard to tell if he is enjoying himself or not. A three-tiered cake is carried across the dance floor by several chefs as the birthday boy is ushered over to blow out the 39 candles. Slightly embarrassed, he blows out a few and retreats into a corner of the room away from everyone, where he spends most of the night.
This is man who performed ‘I Want To Break Free’ in drag in front of 350,000 fans at the Rock In Rio Festival. The man who sang ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ upside-down with the Royal Ballet. The man who stole the show at Live Aid with the whole world watching. Yet being the centre of attention at his own party appears to make him squirm.
Freddie Mercury said he was a man of extremes. On stage he was indestructible. He was Mr Fahrenheit. Off stage he was shy, witty and, according to everyone close to him, the best friend you could ever have.
Freddie Mercury was the Great Pretender.
Rhys Thomas, May 2012, London